Who Was Hugh Parkey?

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Posted by Captain Tim on July 18, 2002 at 10:34:00:

"Parkey" was a great instructor, who was a "Dreamer/Sceamer". I mean that in the most flattering way too.
I had 3 instructors. They were Gordon Khars, Hugh Parkey, and Mike Meagher. While Mike and I are still very close friends, Parkey stands out as the most flamboyant.
I met Parkey at Scuba Schools of Anaheim in the late 70's. We dove together on the "Rio Rita" for several years before he moved on. He was always the light of the party, and we partied every trip. After diving we would make different meals out of what we had caught that day. A favorite dish was "Abalone Casserole", or "Abalone Reanos". After the "Rio Rita" was sold I last contact with Parkey, but his name would come up now and again.
At the last Dema show in Las Vegas I was walking down an isle and out of the corner of my eye I saw someone throw something at me. I turned not knowing what to expect, and there was Parkey. Like time had stood still for him. He wasn't very tall, but big, with curly red hair and red beard. Everyone around us was watching too, to see what was going to happen. Well we put on a show. We yelled at each other, cursed, moved towards each other, and hugged.
Parkey was there to advertise his new adventure. Hugh Parkeys Belize Hotel and Diving. Hugh invited me to his resort on the spot and I invited him out to the GE. We both said that we would, never made it. Ironically, I emailed Parkey about a month ago, trying to set up some sort of dive trip with him. He said he would call and we could go over the details. That was the last I heard from him.
I just got off the phone with the Hotel in Belize, and Sheryl confirmed that Parkey passed away Sunday, (she thinks, things are a little confused down there) right after a dive. She told me that the family is there and servisous will be either today or tomorrow.
Hugh had many sayings, and always made diving fun and an adventure. Two come to mind. "If you snooze, you loose", and "Fame is Fleeting". Both seam to fit his untimely passing. Again time goes buy, and is an easy excuse to not do things. The incredable "If Onlys".
Parkey was a good friend, and great instructor.
He will be missed.

Captain Tim Burke
Great Escape Charters

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